I just found out that my application has been accepted to participate in World Book Night! What is World Book Night? Well, you know how they have all of those give-away events for kids, where the kiddies get to take home a free book? This is essentially the same thing, but for adults.
Each year, between 30 and 35 titles are selected. Now, the authors must agree to waive royalties on these copies of their books. Various participants around the globe give the books away. The idea is to try to reach a target audience who CAN read—but doesn’t read much. You select your title from that year’s list, choose an audience, suggest where you will give the books away. If your application is accepted, you will be given 20 copies of your chosen book to complete your mission.
I selected “Tales of the City” by Armistead Maupin. My target audience will be in the gay bars in New Orleans! I’m thinking of going fairly early in the evening, before the heavy partying scenes really start, and talking about the book, even reading excerpts from it if anyone will listen. “Tales of the City” is a fun, lively, crazy romp through San Francisco’s gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community in the late 70s and early 80s. It is broken up into short chapters, because the stories were originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle. The short chapters are perfect for a morning or evening commute on public transportation; so even someone really busy who ‘doesn’t have time to read’ can read this book!
Maupin also put together two more collections with the same characters, “More Tales of the City” and “Further Tales of the City”, and the BBC produced a TV series of the “Tales” gang in the 1990s. It was filmed in San Francisco and considered very controversial at the time.
If your application is accepted, then you arrange to pick up your books at a location in your area. Book Giveaway Night is April 23.
Another way to participate is to agree to give away two books of your own to anyone you encounter, whether on the bus or streetcar, in the laundromat, the park, etc. Remember, you do want to match up the book with the person, as best you can!
For more information, here’s the World Book Night website:
(If you click on any of the 2014 books, a description of the book will pop up, along with an author bio).
Photo Credit: image: Dries Van den Brande. Stedelijke Musea Mechelen. CC ShareAlike.